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Planet Nomads drops plans to have co-op and multiplayer

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The Early Access sandbox game Planet Nomads [Official Site] has officially dropped plans to include any kind of co-op or multiplayer.

A massive shame, as these sandbox games really do end up boring by yourself. Unless they make the game somehow incredibly good, this move may not go down well with their Kickstarter backers and Early Access buyers. In fact, negative reviews for this are already starting to appear.

They wrote in a post on their official site, which does give some valid reasons. The part that bothers me here is that they did promise it, seemingly without thinking on how difficult it would be. I mean, did they really think implementing proper multiplayer wouldn't be difficult? Here's what they said:

It's about time we stopped contemplating and constantly discussing whether or not to start adding multiplayer. A decision had to be made and has been made. Planet Nomads is not going to have multiplayer or CO-OP game modes. Our focus is going to be 100% dedicated to making an immersive singleplayer sandbox game that's both giving a huge amount of creative freedom and plenty of things to explore and discover, as well as a sense of direction towards a higher goal. We apologize to our Kickstarter backers and preorder Nomads who backed Planet Nomads purely for the multiplayer aspect of it. Here's a more detailed explanation for our decision.

In the more detailed link, it really just reads like like they're saying "It's more work than we planned for.". It might sound like I'm being particularly harsh, but that is basically the reality of what they're saying.

They haven't posted about this on Steam directly yet, I imagine as it would cause an even bigger backlash due to more people seeing it and taking note of it.

I'm not writing the game off completely, since it could end up being a good game. However, now it won't have any multiplayer at all, it's essentially become "yet another survival game" that's in Early Access. Their roadmap doesn't particularly sound all that great either. Planet customization, optimizations, quests (very difficult to make quests actually fun) and monuments.

Still, since they can fully focus on the game being singleplayer only, they might surprise us with having more breathing room to make it a great experience. Last thing we need is another ARK.

Thanks to Marcelo in our Telegram Group for the tip!

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Ketil 3 September 2017 at 2:32 am UTC
I think Planet Nomads deserve better than being associated with the bad things about ARK.

Planet Nomads is a game with, in my opinion, acceptable implementation for early access, and I have not experienced any linux specific issues myself. All issues I have encountered has been cross platform. After looking at the steam forums my impression is that the devs are linux friendly and ask for more information if we provide too little when reporting an issue. I have seen a thread where they ask people to post it on their forum instead of steam forum, but other than that they seem quite decent. This impression is anecdotical though. They also support all linux distros within reason officially, saying "Use Good Measure (Tested on openSUSE Leap 42.1)".

A few months ago I had trouble with performance, but it has been improved, and there is reason to believe they plan to optimise it more as they go forward.

Content wise they are a bit lacking, but for me it was still quite fun in the state it was a few months ago. I'd say it's good enough for at least 15 hours of gameplay, if it is your type of game, but it is a bit grindy, and the tutorial probably still is a bit lacking. When you learn the basics the game gets a lot easier. I'd say too easy even on the survival mode. I used the forums and youtube videos to give me the information I needed to enjoy the game in the beginning. In early access that is fine I think, but I hope they improve the tutorial so that will not be necessary any more in the future. I think they did some work on it the last few months, but I don't need it any more, so I don't really know.

As for multiplayer I never really thought about it until they announced it was cancelled. I bought it because it looked cool, and for the single player that existed in May. From then until now I generally got the impression they wanted to make a great single player game with casual comments from other players that they would like it in multiplayer. Yes it is bad that they don't deliver multiplayer when they promised it, but all kickstarters are prone to change. They should not have made a definitive promise, and failing that they have reevaluated feasibility of multiplayer earlier. Checking out the steam page on archive.org from May I cannot see anything there indicating multiplayer at all. Removing multiplayer is something that probably warrant a refund for those who bought it for the wrong reasons, but for future purchases they should just make it clear that it is a single player game in advance.

Even if this game stopped development now, and stayed the way it currently is forever, I would still be glad I bought it and played it. I have gotten the value I paid for from it, which is more than I have gotten from many games recently that turned out just wasn't my type of game after all.
TheRiddick 3 September 2017 at 7:06 am UTC
This type of game desperately needs Multiplayer sadly otherwise its becomes far too hard and grindey and lonely. So unless their going to ad in some sort of AMAZING single player campaign that is going to captivate us (unlikely) then this game will suffer in the popularity area.

Perhaps further down the line they will revisit the idea, THAT would be a acceptable response, but saying no MP never it dead bye bye is not good.
scaine 3 September 2017 at 8:00 am UTC
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I'm pretty gutted about this. I was assuming it was multiplayer and looking forward to buying a four pack for my son's and I. I can't get excited by this title now. I realise that Planet Nomads (Nomad now, I suppose?) Is shaping up to be a better title than Skybreak, but that's a good example of how empty and lonely a survival title is when it's just you.
bubexel 3 September 2017 at 9:31 am UTC
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A multiplayer is something have to be build from the base of game, implement it after game is finish is a bit crazy. If it was stretch goal at kickstarted it sounds a bit bad idea. Same happened to no man's sky. It's possible to make multiplayer but be ready to play a very unsyncronitzed game xD
TheRiddick 3 September 2017 at 9:48 am UTC
If their using Unity3D Engine then it should be possible to ad in MP components later on since it supports it in engine. But only time will tell.
lucifertdark 3 September 2017 at 9:55 am UTC
GNUzelSo... No Man's Sky, but for Linux?
You say that like it's a bad thing. I for one want a No Man's Sky type game for Linux & if Planet Nomads is that game then I'll be happy to play it without the multiplayer or coop.
mdiluz 3 September 2017 at 10:24 am UTC
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Worth noting Subnautica has been successful with this model, though I get the impression they may still add MP some time in the future.


Last edited by mdiluz at 3 September 2017 at 8:33 pm UTC
Areso 3 September 2017 at 3:45 pm UTC
TheSHEEEPA survival game completely without co-op?
Weird. To say the least.

But to promise multiplayer as a stretch goal is just completely beyond amateurish.
Every developer worth his money knows that multiplayer is a framework decision, not something you can just "add" later on.
Doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the developer in this case.
Don't Starve. A survival game completely without co-op.

Don't Starve. Single player game, where multiplayer was "added" sometime later. (As well as Goat Simulator).
Though I agree, MP is something very fundamental. It is should be supported by game's architecture.


Last edited by Areso at 3 September 2017 at 3:57 pm UTC
TheSHEEEP 3 September 2017 at 3:59 pm UTC
Areso
TheSHEEEPA survival game completely without co-op?
Weird. To say the least.

But to promise multiplayer as a stretch goal is just completely beyond amateurish.
Every developer worth his money knows that multiplayer is a framework decision, not something you can just "add" later on.
Doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the developer in this case.
Don't Starve. A survival game completely without co-op.
Yeah, and quite boring after a few hours (at least for most players which is why Don't Starve Together has like 4-5x the player count).

AresoDon't Starve. Single player game, where multiplayer was "added" sometime later. (As well as Goat Simulator).
Well, Don't Starve Together is a standalone game, and most likely because they weren't able to do it via a simple patch (or DLC).
And Goat Simulator... come on. That game is so simplistic, they probably really only needed to install the networking plugin and a bit of code around it
14 3 September 2017 at 5:39 pm UTC
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*Removes from Steam watch list*
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